Ordinary Time: Not so ordinary!
We have just finished celebrating the feasts of the Epiphany and the Baptism of Jesus. In liturgical terms, we move into what is known as “Ordinary time” — or, perhaps more accurately — “Ordered time.” We will be here until Ash Wednesday, with much of our attention turning to preparations for Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
This morning, I was looking at the upcoming chant pieces for Week II of Ordinary time. I was quite struck by the setting of three words “adoret” (to adore), and “nomini tuo” (Thy name) in the Introit. Though separated within the text itself, the extraordinary rising melodic patterns on each word seem to create an audible subtext for this chant — “Adore Thy name”. It is no mistake that these words are musically highlighted and are instantly recognizable to the ear as they rise up from their surrounding texture.
How easy it would be to miss the beauty and impact of this message, and this is but one example of how the chants of these next weeks teach such basic spiritual lessons — if we have ears to hear them. It seems important to take note of this as we transition from one major liturgical season to another.